This will be a text-light write-up. If you want a text-heavy write-up of how a Journey is created, go check out last year's praxis
Between last year and this year I have moved. I have moved into a luxurious house with more garden than I know what to do with. I have spent the last year building, fixing and cleaning this new place. It has taken over a lot of the time I would normally spend tasking, but I have made it a point to task a little bit every day (most days).
So when I moved to this awesome neighborhood, I decided right then to have my next Journey end at my home, where everybody could hang out for as long as they wanted to. So I started making a map. And my Google map got really really full of cool things and places in the neighborhood.
So I picked five spots that would be good places for people to set up cool checkpoints. I came up with the idea of the ritual in the Mulholland Fountain, the L.A. River crossing task and Walter and I came up with the KISSing booth idea. I convinced Waldo
to have a checkpoint at his house and hooked him up with Sam Archer
and literally never looked back. Sam and I had discussed a few ideas and we tossed around the idea of a ninja training ground, but I had no idea what they'd actually do. And I knew Dubs at checkpoint one would do whatever he wanted, and he did, so he got no instructions other than where to set up.
And then I didn't know what to do with all of those other dots on my map. A lot of them were amazingly cool public stairways. Obviously runners couldn't go to all of them. So I picked five that were already pretty close to checkpoints that they'd be going to. I was also aware that if they didn't use the many busses that ran down San Fernando all night long, that this route could take a long time. So I decided to make the bonus checkpoint prize awesome and better than the prize for just completing or even winning the Journey.
I also knew that just getting those five would be tough. So I also told the runners that if they wanted to fuck the actual Journey and just go for the bonus checkpoints, they would still get the prize. So anybody with five stamps from bonus checkpoints would get the prize.
So I fixed my map and route, and C.M.
who usually walks the route with me to check its viability wasn't available at any of the times I was, so I walked it not on a Saturday and not at night. I walked it on a cold overcast weekday a couple weeks before the event. I walked all of the checkpoints, and all of the bonus checkpoints, and took photos of the bonus checkpoints. It took me a little over four hours, and I was strolling, not running, and not taking busses, but I also wasn't being chased out of my way, and I took direct routes.
Even so, this turned out to be one of the longest (time-wise)(and maybe distance-wise) Journeys yet. My next one will be MUCH shorter.
and anna one
helped out a whole bunch with the prep for this year's journey, they made flyers, postcards, went around and posted them up on college campuses and around town, they mailed me a bunch so I could do the same. They were awesome. They even made liability release forms which I had never had before. Made me look really good they did.
Also, all of the checkpoint volunteers. Dubs
(someday he'll task) at Checkpoint One, Heatherlynn
at Checkpoint Two, My father, LeftHandedSnail
, and three new volunteers that I haven't even met yet at Checkpoint Three, Walter and M.E. at Checkpoint Four, and Waldo
at Checkpoint Five. They all deserve a lot of credit for making this go so smoothly.
Another interesting note, I had two staff chasers this year, and literally the day of the Journey one of them backed out. So I decided to just have the one. I knew I could have asked Loki and he would have happily done it, but I wanted him to run. And I thought C.M. was up to the challenge. C.M. came in an awesome costume and lingered around the park at the starting zone scaring and intimidating runners. And about fifteen minutes before showtime, C.M. vanished into the night to stalk prey just like a Cassowary.
After the runners were off (at 7:15), I hung out in the park alone until 7:45 waiting for any players who might be late, then called Waldo and Sam and they came and picked me up and took me to their checkpoint where I tried to win all of the ninja tasks. Awesome checkpoint. Then I went home and began cleaning up the place (which I didn't do earlier because I was finishing up making the bonus checkpoints, trophies and the KISSing booth and then running around installing the bonus checkpoints.
I was also in constant communication with all checkpoints letting them know when runners were coming and how many and determining collectively when to shut down each checkpoint. Texting and cleaning was what I was doing all night until the first runners showed up at 11:14. So it took them exactly four hours to finish the Journey.
So the finishers were:
11:14 - Caroline
12:49 - Eric
1:06 - Luke
1:24 - Connor
*also got all bonus checkpoints
1:48 - Courtney, James and Secret Agent
58 runners started the Journey.
9 runners finished the Journey.
Which is pretty consistent with every other Journey ever run.
Also 6 players got all five bonus checkpoints as well.
And one player did both.
Loki & anna one got two checkpoints before being caught, but then decided rather than chase people, that they would go and get all of the bonus checkpoints. Which they did. You'll have to read their write-up to see if all of those stairs and hills were worth it or not.
I am very proud of my bonus checkpoints. I love those stairs, I love my prizes, I love how hard it was to get them, I love how beautiful they are, I love the stamps I made (I'd never made stamps before, and just decided to make them without really knowing what I was doing), and the locations I chose. That is my favorite part of this journey. And if you ran the Journey but didn't do the bonus checkpoints, well, you still have your manifest, you can go find them on your own time and pace now.
Once again, I had an amazing night, met two more SFØ players, and got to hang out with my very tired friends well into the night while a Cinco de Mayo party raged on with a live DJ just down the hill, wafting their music up to us. And a Supermoon shone its bright light down on us.